Michael met Rotarians and their guests at their new regular lunch venue held at White Oak Indoor Bowls Club, Swanley on 3rd October. Members had requested a talk based around Michael’s new role as Defence Secretary.
As all knew, it had been an extremely busy summer, with Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa dominating the agenda, as well at the NATO summit and the draw down of troops and equipment from Afghanistan. We now face a direct threat from Islamic extremism. The government is working closely with our allies to drive back, dismantle and ultimately destroy ISIL and what it stands for.
Michael has already had two trips to visit servicemen and women in Afghanistan; met the RAF crews in Cyprus – whose tireless efforts saved lives by delivering aid in Iraq and visited several defence allies in the middle-east and Europe. Last month he hosted the defence delegations from 28 NATO countries and their partners at the NATO summit in Newport, Wales; arguably the most significant summit since the end of Cold War.
He wanted to reassure everyone that his current role does not affect his constituency work, which he very much values. In addition to his regular advice surgeries he had also had meetings with Swanley Town Council, Healthwatch Kent, and Lloyds Bank Sevenoaks in the last few weeks. He recently opened the new branch of Handelsbanken in Sevenoaks, launched a new current account at Sevenoaks Crown Post Office, and presented Swanley Station staff with a Secure Station Award.
Earlier that day he had spoken at the West Kent Partnership Business Engagement Event in Brands Hatch, Plans for the following week would include a visit to West Kingsdown Primary School, attending the British Tour Car Championship Final Roadshow event at Brands Hatch and a parish meeting at Badgers Mount. A business advice surgery will be held shortly and Swanley Jobs Fair is being organised for mid-October.